Criterion Press Release: It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Dual Format)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 16, 2013.

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  1. Brian McP

    Brian McP Second Unit

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    Reminds me very much of the alternate poster artwork done by the Mondo folks at the Alamo Drafthouse theatres -- it hides the age of some of the movies and brings each title to the same level playing field, some referencing many of those movie's most iconic scenes.
     
  2. atfree

    atfree Cinematographer
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    Moe, I just lost a few precious minutes of my life at the Criterionforum.org site reading thru the posts on IAMMMMW. WHY OH WHY do you subject yourself to that pretentious bunch of pseudointellectuals over there? I'd just as soon set myself on fire and jump into a vat of gasoline. You're either a brave man or have a death wish :)
     
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  3. ThadK

    ThadK Stunt Coordinator
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    Funnily enough, I just snagged this and screened it last week. What I've seen so far of the presentation is first class all the way.

    My opinion of this film always does a complete 180° every time I watch it in full... But seeing it in high-def digitally projected REALLY AND TRULY HELPS. This is a film that should only be seen on as large a screen as possible, and with as many people in the audience as possible. It just does not work any other way.

    As for the 197 minute roadshow reconstruction, I'll echo what Ray Faiola said: that beyond the addition of Buster Keaton, everything else is strictly inconsequential. Though I'll argue that Sylvester stealing his girlfriend's car (re: her husband's car) is pretty damn funny, and seeing more of Edie Adams' ass is never a bad thing.
     
  4. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    IMO, it also works every other way. ;)
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Just started watching the reconstruction in the Criterion set (also got A Hard Day's Night and The Devil's Backbone in the B&N Criterion sale). My hat is off to RAH for what he was able to accomplish with the materials he had. It makes you realize how good the MGM transfer of the short version is, and I too, enjoyed the scene involving Sylvester's girlfriend and her husband's car. Ethel Merman is so shrill, she makes me want unspeakable things to happen to her every time I watch this, but the movie wouldn't work without her. Will likely finish up tonight (about 1/2 way through).
     
  6. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    RAH, I probably already asked this question, but I forgot:

    When you found 20 minutes worth of lost footage for the 1991 re-construction, did they have audio intact, or was the audio for those scenes missing?
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Oh yes, the "how dare they release a mainstream American comedy despite the demand for it" brigade.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Yes.
     
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  9. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    If there have been missing audio on those re-discovered scenes from the 1991 re-construction, would there have been a mention of this on the laserdisc, like there was on the Hawaii and Spartacus laserdiscs?
     
  10. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    To be a genuine spoiler, wouldn't the "Big W" have to be on the cover? As it is, this is nice and evocative of the film without giving anything away.
     
  11. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    The Big W is like Rosebud in CITIZEN KANE. (Their function in the narrative is quite similar when you think about it.)

    As for revealing what they are, you either take a "no spoilers anytime ever" position or a "classics are fair game" position. I'm torn because I like talking about classics openly but at the same time I want young people to discover these films and experience them the way I saw them for the first time. On some forums, the overwhelming majority of readers have seen both films while on others the ratio is reversed, so you have to be careful.

    Although I think we can all agree that anyone who's heard of PSYCHO knows about the shower scene.
     
  12. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    What shower scene??;)
     
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  13. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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  14. Vahan_Nisanain

    Vahan_Nisanain Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG]

    I have a very rare find I would like to share that is in relation to IAMMMMW. And this is 100% legit, folks. Nothing is fake.

    A friend of mine from the Closing Logo Group Wiki obtained a screencap of the United Artists Hexagon, as seen only on the international prints (including the Asian ones) of this film that RAH worked on for the Criterion edition.

    http://closinglogos.com/

    My friend also said that he saw a copy of the British film Tom Jones with its original UA Hexagon intact years and years ago. I hope he can one day find it again. He also said that according to his research, he can assume, but not yet 100% confirm, that the UA Hexagon was strictly for British UA films (i.e. Three Sundays to Live, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Tom Jones, A Hard Day's Night, Goldfinger, Help!, Thunderbirds are Go, etc.), as well as international prints of American UA films. He came to this assumption when researching information on the original negative of Stranger on Horseback, and comparing it with the international print on the VCI DVD.

    Enjoy this beautiful logo to your heart's content.
     
  15. davidmatychuk

    davidmatychuk Screenwriter

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  16. cb1

    cb1 Stunt Coordinator

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    you know, I just re-watched this film this past weekend. It has got to the point where I appreciate the hard work restoring this so much that I don't even notice that the added scenes are of a different quality. The only reminder is the insertion of the still shots.


    Thanks again RAH for your efforts ! :cheers:
     
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  17. Bill Huelbig

    Bill Huelbig Second Unit

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    I was 5 years old in 1960, and wasn't allowed to see the movie, and I knew about the shower scene. Everybody was talking about it.
     
  18. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    I showed the reconstructed cut to my Dad the other night (I bought my parents a new TV and gave them my old PlayStation 3). He loves slapstick and was well-aware of this movie, but hadn't seen it in years (if not decades).

    Some interesting observations:
    • My Dad's first big laugh was when Smiler literally and figuratively "kicked the bucket"; his last big laugh was when Mrs. Marcus slipped on the banana peel
    • He questioned the more egregious jumps in picture quality, especially when all you saw were still images with the audio still playing. Despite the on-screen message explaining what just happened, he asked me what just happened. He doesn't trust technology and thought the TV went on the fritz
    • He drew a complete blank during the intermission when the police calls started playing. I quickly explained that during the roadshow, the theater would be piping this audio all over the premises, including the bathrooms. When we hit the interminably long stretch where there was absolutely no audio or video for several minutes, he finally said, "Is that it?" as if he thought the whole thing was over. I again explained the uncomfortably loooong stretch as giving you plenty of time to take a dump, and even a shower if you wanted to, as I fast-forwarded to the Entr'act
    • My Dad laughed heartily throughout the movie as expected, but interestingly enough he almost seemed to laugh a little harder at some of the "new" roadshow footage that was put back (like the camera zoom reveal of the World War I airplane)
    • As a sort of exclusive running commentary that was unavailable with the Criterion Collection, my Dad kept pointing out by name all the famous actors who appeared--and which ones were dead. Naturally, this went on for three-and-a-half hours... and they were all dead. Criterion should consider this feature in future editions: "Jack Benny...! He's dead."
    • When we got to the "Robert Harris" restoration credit, I quickly tried to explain "who that guy was." My parents have a very dim idea of what the Internet is, exactly, or what a "forum" is outside of the Roman Empire. They've heard me talk about film restoration before, and I've explained that movie studios would simply junk their negatives with no long-term thought about their value. I reminded my Dad about the moments when the Mad World movie seemed to flutter, go silent, or stop moving altogether and explained that if it wasn't for people like Robert Harris, none of it would be moving for long
     
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  19. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    I was ten and my mother said I'd be punished if I saw it. But I read about the film in "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine and wanted to see it. My mother saw it and actually got sick. I saw it and thought it was no big deal. I obviously didn't understand all the psychological aspects, but I didn't find it scary.
     

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